BRITISH COLUMBIA

Prince George Seeks Crime Reductions Tips From Surrey

06/04/2013 04:24 EDT | Updated 08/04/2013 05:12 EDT
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After being named Canada's most dangerous city by Maclean's Magazine three years in a row, the Northern B.C. city of Prince George is trying to learn from Surrey's success reducing crime.

- Read more about the Maclean's Magazine ranking

While Maclean's ranked Surrey Canada's fifth most dangerous city in the same survey in 2012, the Vancouver suburb has seen its crime rate drop by 14 per cent since the city implemented its crime reduction strategy in 2007.

Surrey RCMP Const. Thor Forseth, who works with the crime reduction unit, attributes their success to an integrated approach involving police, schools, city by-law officers, and the public.

Dealing with smaller issues like public intoxication and litter helps rid areas of criminal activity, said Forseth.

"By dealing with the little things we found that those who were there selling the harder drugs, it was no longer the environment they were looking for," said Forseth.

Forseth says that's when citizens can take back their public spaces.

"Regular folk were starting to come by. The traditional clientele that bought drugs weren't so comfortable there anymore."

Prince George has now created its own crime task force, which meets with a delegation from Surrey on Monday, said Mayor Shari Green.

"We don't want to reinvent the wheel. They've got some best practices, and they're being sought out around the world for the types of strategies they've implemented."

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